Recently I've noticed a lot of bloggers writing these awesome letters to their younger selves. No this is not one of those. I already did something similar in my getting older post. The idea made me think about something called inner child work. I tried this a year ago.
Our younger selves are still a part of us. We might have grown up and gotten older, but that does not mean that our other versions are gone. The experiences we go through in our lives and what our younger selves felt became part of us. It helps us to learn and be better next time. But sometimes we get stuck. Our younger selves maybe had some sad moments and as we got older we held on to tight and never moved on.
Inner child work is basically you going back and comforting that child(you) if they're sad and letting them know everything will be okay. A clue to know if your inner child is unhappy, is if current you are dealing with some emotional issues. You can do this as a meditation.
You find a quiet place. Make sure there's no distractions. Focus on your breathing. Imagine a beautiful garden or any peaceful place. In this place there's a child. That child is you. Introduce yourself to the child. Let them know who you are. Remember that's a younger you that still exists. So the child or you will talk back.
Yes you're going to talk to yourself. It's not crazy. It's actually insightful. Especially if you have no idea who you really are. Some people hide who they are. Even from themselves. I had no idea I had abandonment issues. Not a clue!
I thought not having my parents around was normal. Getting raised by grandparents that had to raise my cousins at the same time and me fading into the background was normal. I was picked on everyday by my cousins because I looked and acted weird. Add the fact that I'm an introvert and that makes a really crappy childhood. It affected every relationship I ever had and every decision I made in my life and I had no idea, until I actually started to look at why I was so unhappy.
I thought I grew up and that's my past, but it affected every aspect of my life. Everything! I found it hard to trust people, I was scared of everything and I felt lonely most of my life. The things that happen in our childhood lays the foundation for the rest of our lives.
Parents need to be aware of this. Don't think your child will just get over something. It stays with them. It stayed with all of us. Make sure your child knows you love them and that you are there for them. In words and actions. Unfortunately you can't protect your child from everything. They have their own path.
No matter how hard this life is, if you know there's someone that has your back then you can face anything. If someone had my back when I was a child, then maybe I would have been a normal functional adult. Instead I have to now patch myself up. Piece by piece...
I'm not upset with my parents. That's water under the bridge. I understand why they couldn't be a big part of my life. My mom and I have grown closer now that I've made more time for my family. My dad is somewhere on the planet. He reached out a few years ago but I felt no connection to him. So he's not in my life. It was my choice. You can't miss something you never had. Anyway...
I told her she will always have me. I will never abandon her. We cried together. We laughed. We hugged. She felt much better and I watched as her sadness faded. That rippled into older me feeling better too about my past.
I wasn't completely healed at that time. This is not an easy fix. But I felt lighter. I felt hopeful. Like a floodgate opened. Something shifted and I knew I had more control over my reality than I thought.
You can go back as many times as you want. Hopefully your current version is wiser and will impart some valuable knowledge. While busy working on this post, I thought why not try to go back. I've been dealing with some anger issues towards a family member after my puppy Fluffy arrived and had no idea why.
I'm by nature a mellow person and it takes alot to upset me. I hated that I acted like a crazy person and they did not deserve it. They were just trying to be helpful. I knew this and yet I was still triggered. I stopped doing this exercise, because I thought there was no need to. Luckily I was reminded of it while reading the blogger's letters to their younger selves.
I then went back and had a conversation with my inner child again. She had our two dogs with her and a smaller version of my human bestie. She was happy. We cleared up the mystery of my anger and she felt much better towards this person and so did I.
She was also concerned about loosing everything. I didn't push the subject because I saw she wanted to retrieve and put up a wall. It's normal to feel that way when you're happy after being sad for a long time. I just reminded her to enjoy this moment and not worry about the future.
She then showed me how much my puppy actually loves me and that I was not just a chew toy. That conversation improved my relationship with my new dog as well. I was surprised that she could actually see that, when I couldn't. She asked why I don't come around anymore. I told her I'm always here. We are one. She understood.
I find that when doing these exercises you have to be clear. It's like there's a disconnect between current you and your inner child. You should not assume they know everything about what's going on in your life and also vice versa. Your mind might be hiding things from you.
|All patched up and ready for anything!|
Some people can only face themselves when they're ready. Your inner child represents your past. It's a way to tap into the subconscious. A way to find self acceptance for who you are. A lot of people find it hard to love and accept themselves. You're going to have you for the rest of your life. It's important to love yourself and find your happiness.
This is my own experience. It is just one of many things I've tried to help heal myself emotionally. I was ready to face my past and deal with it. I knew that was the only way I'll get closer to being happy.
Until next time
Want to read more Renza posts? Here's some links!
Practicing mindfulness and meditation
10 reasons why getting older is not so bad